PDN Photo of the Day

War Memorials in Paper and Cloth

The objects in Inbal Abergil’s photographs can be seen as the inverse of the kind of massive monuments that fill parks and publicly memorialize those killed in war. Her subjects are personal mementos, made from ephemeral materials like cloth and paper rather than bronze and stone—a scrap of newspaper, a stuffed animal, a stack of cards and photographs. But the modest size of these objects belies their evocative power for those who treasure them, and by extension for us. Opening February 27 at Baxter St at CCNY in New York City (where Abergil was an artist in residence), “N O K – Next of Kin” depicts a collection of objects that families hold on to in remembrance, photographed in the bedrooms and living rooms where they’re kept. (A panel discussion about the show takes place on March 5 with Abergil, Allen Frame, Elisabeth Sherman and Maurice Emerson Decaul.)

To make the photographs, Abergil traveled throughout the U.S. to meet with relatives of fallen soldiers and military personnel and interview them about what they have kept. “Families must decide which objects to keep, what to take with them or let go of when they move or as time passes,” writes the gallery in a statement. “Through images and testimonials, Abergil’s project honors the dead while at the same time giving voice to a community of survivors who keep memory alive as they strive to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of loss.”

Related Stories:

Lynn Johnson On Veteran Survivors of Blast Force

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath

Love and War: Retracing the Timeline of a Relationship Changed by Battle

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